The Highland Park Village building that houses Starbucks and Anthropologie will get a new look and a private club.
But don’t worry: Those and other first floor retailers will remain open during the 12-months of renovation to the building beside Preston Road.
“Well, my wife will be happy,” said Bob West, who lives near the shopping center and came to a recent Town Council meeting to check on the status of the coffee shop.
Joe O’Brien, president and CEO of A.G. Hill Partners, hopes customers and neighbors will be pleased with renovations designed to make the building look more like its counterparts in the shopping center.
A.G. Hill manages the trusts that own Highland Park Village.
Building G, as it’s identified in plans prepared by Omniplan Architects, is the “one building that does not aesthetically fit with the rest of the village,” O’Brien said.
But that should change as workers give the facility a new façade and expand the third floor to 19,036-square-feet while adding balconies and a tower similar to, but not as tall as, the one on the Highland Park Village Theatre building.
O’Brien said first floor uses won’t change – current tenants will remain – but the upper floor uses will. The second floor, which has been used for offices, will be strictly retail while the third floor, instead of providing storage and some retail, will become a private club.
Highland Park resident John M. Scott III, former CEO for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and Brady Wood, founder of developer WoodHouse, will operate the club, O’Brien told Town Council members during a study session on Feb. 21.
O’Brien said the club would cater to Park Cities area residents who work from home and want a place to meet and dine with clients.
Construction of an exterior fire escape will cost the shopping center five parking spaces, but even with increased requirements from the anticipated new uses, the village with 1,054 parking spaces will still have 20 more than required by town codes.
Town Administrator Bill Lindley doesn’t expect the club’s balcony views to pose a privacy issue for nearby residents.
“You will see the golfers, but you won’t see the backyards,” he said.
Town Council members on Feb. 27 approved an amended site plan for the project after conducting a public hearing.
Bobby Burns, who lives near the shopping center, voiced concerns about plans to do much of the exterior construction at night.
“I think it’s a detriment to people who live closer to the remodeling project,” Burns said, recalling the annoying sound of trucks backing up during other work in the area. “Beep, beep, beep.”
A nighttime construction schedule should minimize traffic impacts in and near the shopping center, O’Brien said.
Development Services Manager Kirk Smith said town regulations set normal construction hours at 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., but contractors can negotiate for nighttime hours.
The construction hours for this Highland Park Village project have not been set, nor has a start date, he said.
The site plan approved in February calls for a smaller project than the Town Council approved in June 2016.
Originally, developers had planned to expand the third floor by about 4,000 additional square feet and include a second floor bridge to an adjacent building. Talk of putting hotel-style overnight accommodations on the second floor also have been abandoned, O’Brien said.
“We wanted to minimize the construction process and intensity so that our first-floor tenants could continue to operate uninterrupted during construction,” he said.